In this crazy year of 2020 one thing we can all agree about is information overload. There is so much news and opinions to wade through. It’s exhausting. Like starting a new job or hobby, you’re trying to learn a lot of new information and it feels like your brain just might explode. Have you ever started something new – a new job, a new sport, even a new game and you’re trying to learn the information and it feels like your brain might explode? Right now many of us are experiencing it on a daily basis because of the 24/7 nature of social media and the Internet.
What Are the Effects of Information Overload?
Information overload can cause the following symptoms:
* Cardiovascular issues
Not only that, staying glued to our devices can also cause problems in our relationships with family, friends and at work. Remember that information overload is a choice that you make with your time. You can choose to be on social media ll day, and check in with all of the news outlets about whatever the hot topic of the day is.
Anytime you want to learn something new, it’s very tempting to start gathering as much information as you can. And thanks to the Internet, it’s quite easy to get sucked down into the rabbit hole of never ending information. With so many sources of information, it can become tough to determine what information is good and what information is bad.
When you’re bombarded with so much information, your brain can’t filter and process it properly. Your brain does something called twigging, which means that instead of filtering information in terms of importance it just generalizes all information as being the same. This is terrible for decision making.
If you can’t properly filter information to determine what is true, what is right and what is wrong, you’ll have a hard time making the right choices. The information overload may cause you to make bad decisions on any number of issues, because with so much noise going on you can’t determine what is right.
Too Much Screen Time Hurts Relationships
Being on your phone or tablet all of the time can harm your relationships. If you’re always reading your smartphone, looking at social media and aren’t present in your daily life, it can hurt intimacy. If your partner and friends are complaining about your digital habits, take notice and do something about it.
The world is not black and white. The world is colorful, black, white, gray and everything in between and more. The same can be said for a lot of issues. There are very few issues that are either right or wrong, black or white.
If you have too much information at your fingertips and consuming information from the same sources all of the time, it’s easy to see everything as black and white, which isn’t good for anyone’s mindset.
Information Overload Can Lead to Depression
Too much screen time can lead to problems such as short-term memory issues and even depression. If you find that you’re feeling mixed up all of the time, find yourself forgetting appointments and aren’t doing your best at home or work, you might consider information overload as a potential culprit.
Many people don’t know how to set limits on screen time. We’ve all heard about people accidently hurting themselves or wrecking their cars due to not being able to turn away from looking at their text messages.
You can do your part by trying to limit information overload for yourself and your family.
7 Tips to Avoid Social Media Overload
One of the problems that happen to many people who are on social media too much is that it takes over their lives. Even if you’re doing it for work, you have to admit it’s way too easy to get side tracked. If you can focus on productivity instead of activity, you can accomplish so much more in your life.
- Schedule and set time limits for social media. Don’t just check your social media whenever the mood strikes. Instead, create a plan that gives you certain times and days that you work on social media. If you don’t want to get sucked into the abyss, it’s important to stick to be intentional and disciplined about your social media use.
- Use automation wisely. When you automate social media tasks, it will help you get the most out of social media without becoming consumed by it. For example, you can automate post scheduling so you don’t have to log on to that every single day.
- Set your intentions. When it comes to doing tasks on social media, your money-making tasks should come first, then relationship building, and finally your personal activities. If you focus on just whatever is in front of you when you check your social media, you will get sucked in. Instead, have a plan of attack so that your essential tasks get done.
- Outsource your social media tasks. Find someone to help you with social media if you’re using it for business. There are many social media managers who can help you get this task done.
- Turn Off Notifications. Don’t be available 24/7. It’s important for your mental health to not to always be connected, such as when you’re with family and friends, when you’re in the bathroom, when you’re driving, or when you’re in a meeting. Just turn it off, and don’t look at it except during the times you’ve set.
- Stop Multitasking. Sometimes when you try to do too many things at once, you end up sucked into the social media black hole because your brain is trying to get a break. Make a list of what you have to get done and do them, one thing at a time.
- Be Honest With Yourself. It may feel like you’re busy doing something and getting things done. But just because something keeps you busy, doesn’t mean that you are really be productive. Evaluate your why. Are you using social media out of boredom, or to escape reality?
Social media overload can cause a host of mental health related problems such as depression, anxiety, headaches and stress from the overload of often contradictory information streaming through your social media accounts.
Learn to use social media wisely, and you’ll avoid social media overload.